Remembering Dilip Kumar: His top 10 songs

Muhammad Yusuf Khan aka Dilip Kumar along with Lata Mangeshkar is the only surviving warrior in Bollywood. In a career spanning across 6 decades, it won't be an exaggeration to put him at the pinnacle of screen acting in India. Starting his career in 1944 with Amiya Chakravarty's Jwar Bhata, he never looked back. India's first method actor, India's first superstar, an inspiration to generations of budding actors, Yusuf defined Indian cinema. He has seen Bollywood grow with him. All his companions, competitors, co-stars, musicians, singers left us, but he has survived the tide.

In his career, he was part of some of the best music created and being very deeply aware of the musical nuances, he was someone who just wouldn't call a song a song unless it was a good one (Let's not talk about songs from Quila here). People do go senile, ask Dev Sahab for that matter. Anyways here I am going to talk about top 10 songs picturised on Dilip Sahab. It's not the list of best songs, its the list of my favourite songs on him.

So let's start

1) Yahan badla wafa ka bewafai ke siwa kya hai
Film: Jugnu (1947)
MD: Firoz Nizami

This was a duet with legendary Noorjehan before she migrated to Pakistan. It is one of the few songs where Rafi has this nasal tone about the voice. This song doesnt cary much trivia or weight as such besides the fact that it was one of the first collaboration between Rafi saab and Yusuf saab. The song became a superhit and Rafi and Noorjehan were propelled to unmatched heights

2) Watan ki raah mein watan ke naujawan
Film: Shaheed (1948)
MD: Ghulam Haider

One of the earliest patriotic songs post independence - 'watan ki raah' was a monumental song in every aspect. Penned brilliantly by Raja Mehndi Ali Khan and picturised on Dilip Kumar and Kamini Kaushal, this is the song that inspired Dharmender to get into acting. This was another song that pushed Rafi up the ladder during those trying times for singers. The other voice in the song is Khan Mastana. Dilip Sahab's characterisation got him universal applause for the film and this song in general as well.

3) Hue hum jinke liye barbaad
Film: Deedar (1951)
MD: Naushad

This sad yet melancholic song about the lost childhood love is the highlight of the 1951 blockbuster Deedar. Rendered effortlessly yet brilliantly by Mohammad Rafi saab and picturised on an ever sad Dilip saab, this song and the film overall, helped in cementing the label of tragedy king. The lyrics were penned by Shaqeel Badayuni as expected. This was just the beginning of Dilip-Rafi-Naushad-Shaqeel partnership that lasted almost 2 decades

4) Ae mere dil kahin aur chal
Film: Daag (1952)
MD: Shankar Jaikishan

Yes Dilip sahab was not all about Rafi, not all about Naushad saab. This brilliant song is composed by magical duo Shankar-Jaikishan and sung by Talat Mehmood. One of the finest compositions of 1952, Daag had some brilliant songs like Koi nahi mera is duniya me, preet ye kaisi bol ri duniya and hum dard ke maaron ka itna hi fasana hai. How Dilip sahab used to do lyp-sync to the sad songs without going overboard and without being melodramatic is something for every actor to learn

5) O door ke musafir
Film: Udan Khatola (1955)
MD: Naushad

If it wasn;t sad enough, here comes a sadder number. Another one in the Dilip-Rafi-Naushad-Shaqeel frame. The song is about when the beloved is on the brink of being sacrificed. The undertone is dark and sad and beautiful. Another Rafi gem, rendered magnificently (running out of adjectives). Other songs of Udan Khatola were classics as well including the melodious and sad - No ro ae dil by lata didi

6) Maang Ke sath tumhara
Film : Naya Daur (1957)
MD: OP Nayyar

Yes Dilip Kumar and OP Nayyar also came together for one of the best music albums in history of Indian music - Naya Daur. Boasting of classic songs all around like the evergreen Uden Jab Jab zulfein teri or the pop culture in itself - Ye desh hai veer jawano ka, Naya Daur was also landmark for Asha Bhosle who was OP's first choice in a Lata world. Maang ke sath tumhara was written by poet supreme Sahir Ludhiyanvi and the song has the signature OPN style with Punjabi folk and use of horse hoofs with ghunghroo.

7) Ye mera deewanapan hai
Film: Yahudi (1958)
MD: Shankar Jaikishan

Yahudi was a milestone film by legendary director Bimal Roy. SJ were not his first choice, Roy was always Salil Chaudhry patron but his views must have changed after the soundtrack of Yahudi. SJ gave some really amazing songs for the film and the highlight of the album was 'ye mere deewanapan hai'. Written by Shailendra and sung by Mukesh, the song also became one of those songs which keeps coming back. It has ben used multiple times in bollywood and has become an icon

8) Madhuban me radhika nache re
Film: Kohinoor (1958)
MD: Naushad

Well if 50s was known for the tragedies in Dilip saab's characters, he definitely broke the shackles in Kohinoor in 1960. it is said that he went into depression after doing one sad character after another and his psychiatrist advised him to do light roles. Directed by S U sunny, it featured 10 songs composed by Maestro Naushad and penned by Badayuni saab. Despite featuring a lot of towering hits like Do sitaron ka zameen par hai milan and Zara mann ki kewadia khol, the standout song remains Madhuban me. Composed in Raga Hamir and sung in semi-classical mode by Rafi, the song soared to heights of popularity. Dilip sahab confessed that he delayed the shooting of the song for months as he was trying to learn Sitar for the song.

9) Nain Lad Jai hai to
Film: Ganga Jamuna (1961)
MD: Naushad

Ganga Jamuna may not be a mussical classic, compared to its accolades in terms of being a great film (nominated for 7 filmfare awards and winning three), but some of the songs definitely rang the right bells in the ears of music lovers.This was a pro Lata album with 4 solos but Rafi saab also got THE SONG of the film. A person who has been singing sad songs for Yusuf suddenly bursts into life, rendering in rural accent for a washerman. Nain Lad Jai hai has become immortal for its music, singing as well as picturisation. Another milestone song in the film was by Hemant Da, the immortal - Insaaf ki dagar pe bacchon dikhao chal ke

10) Aaj purani raahon se
Film: Aadmi (1968)
MD: Naushad

remake of the Tamil film Aalayamani starring Sivaji Ganesan, Aadmi also starred Manoj Kumar and Waheeda Rehman. This song has a bittersweet yet cynical and solitary tone. The lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni are highly touching. There is a sense of charisma in last stanza when he says
जीवन बदला, दुनिया बदली, मन को अनोखा ज्ञान मिला
आज मुझे अपने ही दिल में, एक नया इंसान मिला
पहुँचा हूँ वहाँ, नहीं दूर जहाँ 
भगवान भी मेरी निगाहों से
There is a sort of redemption, a nirvana in the words. 

There are few notable mentions which could not make it to the top 10
Tere husn ki kya tareef karoon
Aaj ki raat mere dil ki salami le le
Suhana safar aur ye mausam haseen
Uden jab jab zulfein teri
Dil me chhupa ke pyaar ka toofan le chale

Apni aazadi ko hum hargiz mita sakte nahi

I hope you like the list. Let me know your favorite songs of Dilip Kumar


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